Economic Analysis

Hicks: Indiana good, but not optimal, for small firmsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Mike Hicks
a recen studied of states' friendliness to small businesses gave Indiana poor grades for ease in finding workers, leveling blame on networking and training programs. This is interesting, but almost certainly not the actual problem.
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Hicks: Rulings limit state power, embrace freedomRestricted Content

July 2, 2014
Mike Hicks
This past couple of weeks has offered a rare series of court rulings that have implications for both households and businesses.
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Hicks: Loopholes help one class at expense of othersRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
Mike Hicks
Every loophole, deduction, exemption, abatement and carve-out is designed to benefit one class of citizens at the expense of others. These are neither fair nor simple. They are rarely effective.
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Hicks: Accountants derail irresponsible governmentsRestricted Content

June 21, 2014
Mike Hicks
New Government Accounting Standards Board rules require state and municipal governments to report their pensions in ways more like that of private sector pensions.
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Hicks: Subsidizing filmmaking is a losing proposition

June 14, 2014
Mike Hicks
Without even touching upon the fairness of Indiana taxpayers subsidizing Hollywood studios, film tax credits are of dubious value. The jobs they generate are transient, often low-paying and unlikely to meet the simplest benefit-cost calculus.
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Hicks: Technology might be suppressing robust growthRestricted Content

June 7, 2014
Mike Hicks
Quarter after quarter of booming growth, seen for several decades, might have slowed permanently. The 2000s saw only five rapid-growth quarters, and this decade has had two. It might mean that higher average growth rates are more difficult to achieve due to structural changes in the economy related to technology.
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Hicks: Income inequality tied to capital investmentsRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
Mike Hicks
French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is far and away one of the most important books on the economy in some time.
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HICKS: Promises to veterans too expansive to keepRestricted Content

May 24, 2014
Mike Hicks
A promise of nearly infinite health care to any large group of people has a nearly infinite cost.
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Hicks: Hoosiers voting to pay for better public servicesRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Mike Hicks
I have long argued that Hoosier taxpayers are willing to spend more in places where they can see results. The results of the recent election suggest I am right about that.
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Hicks: Many women sacrifice careers for their childrenRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
Mike Hicks
Mother’s Day is a splendid opportunity to think about the evolving economic effects of women as parents, how this influences their economic lives, and how women value motherhood in economic terms.
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Hicks: State, local government unbalanced in IndianaRestricted Content

May 3, 2014
Mike Hicks
Having lived and worked in three states over the past decade, I have watched how state policy influences local government.
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Hicks: Obama pitches gender pay gap to the gullibleRestricted Content

April 26, 2014
Mike Hicks
If we separate people into two groups by age, education, gender, race, occupation or almost any other factor, their average wages differ in some way. But this sort of comparison doesn’t tell us much. If we use statistical methods that account for multiple characteristics, wage differences for most factors disappear.
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Hicks: Tax rates only half the story of governmentRestricted Content

April 17, 2014
Mike Hicks
With the passing of April 15 and the annual ritual of tax filings, news pages are filled with discussion about the size of federal, state and local tax burdens.
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Hicks: Measuring the immeasurable is huge challengeRestricted Content

April 12, 2014
Mike Hicks
One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent.
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Hicks: Economics lessons for today are simple, hardRestricted Content

April 5, 2014
Mike Hicks
Far too much worry is placed in the short-run ups and downs of the economy, but I am not worried about business where errors are ultimately punished. The real worry is that public policy will extend its embrace of short-run fixes, which are chimerical.
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Hicks: Medical firms are largest perpetrators of fraudRestricted Content

March 29, 2014
Mike Hicks
Medicaid and Medicare fraud is where the real money lies, costing taxpayers some $100 billion a year, or 10 percent of total costs. This is many times more than the highest estimate of fraud in all other assistance programs combined. Nearly all of this fraud is perpetrated by health care providers.
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Hicks: Inflation could precede real economic recoveryRestricted Content

March 22, 2014
Mike Hicks
The new Keynesian model suggests that a government stimulus might work to temporarily boost consumption or investment just like the old Keynesian model does. But the new model requires businesses and households to adjust their buying because of fears of expected inflation.
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Hicks: Local government should track job growth, tooRestricted Content

March 15, 2014
Mike Hicks
Before we get down to evaluating economic development incentives, we ought to understand just what it means to “create a job” and how we can honestly evaluate tax incentive policies.
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Hicks: Choke Russian ambitions with a Fed strategy

March 8, 2014
Mike Hicks
The Soviet, er ... Russian, invasion of Ukraine offers a nice reminder of JFK’s old dictum that domestic policy can defeat us, but foreign policy can get us killed. As we pay higher gasoline prices, we ought to think about the world as it is and our options.
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Hicks: Public policies muddle minimum wage debateRestricted Content

March 1, 2014
Mike Hicks
Late last month, a Congressional Budget Office study on a proposed minimum-wage hike concluded that raising the minimum wage 39 percent, from $7.25 to $10.10, would reduce employment by roughly 500,000 jobs.
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Hicks: Marriage patterns add to income inequalityRestricted Content

February 22, 2014
Mike Hicks
After World War II, Americans began to marry later in life and with far fewer geographic restrictions. The “marriage market” shifted from small towns to colleges and workplaces. So, educational attainment, not race and religion, became a more important factor.
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Hicks: It's irrational to dislike most rich peopleRestricted Content

February 15, 2014
Mike Hicks
The plain fact is, of the households with earnings in the top fifth, only 0.0016 percent earn more than half their income from stock dividends. Simply put, most rich households work. It is also plainly true that someone else’s riches don’t come at the expense of the rest of us. There is not a finite amount of income.
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Hicks: Sustainable middle class now built on workRestricted Content

February 8, 2014
Mike Hicks
America's middle class was first built upon an unsustainable combination of low-productivity, high-wage jobs in large factories. The second half of the 20th century saw a different middle class emerge, with workers across many industries applying high-value-added human capital to the production of goods and increasingly services.
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Hicks: Policy levers to fight poverty hit their limitationsRestricted Content

February 1, 2014
Mike Hicks
The big lesson on research and data about poverty is the limited effectiveness of public policy. For healthy people in long-term poverty, nearly all have made at least one of the big three mistakes: quitting high school, using drugs or having kids without a partner.
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Hicks: Consumption inequality is the real issueRestricted Content

January 25, 2014
Mike Hicks
No economic facts are likely to steer the policy debate away from income inequality. This is mostly because today’s discussion is simply a convenient way to change the subject from other policy failures.
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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